Guest Post: Part 1 - The Power of Belief
..."because in sports, as in business or life in general, the element of belief is so critical that it cannot be overlooked. It is where everything starts." - Geoff Stuhr
This post is written by Geoff Stuhr: A great friend, former teammate, and someone who I am able to bounce ideas off of on a daily basis. When I asked if he wanted to write a post for me, he already had a topic in mind. Geoff has a fantastic resume of taking on the ups and downs of sport, business, and life head on with a constant growth and belief mindset. He has a ton of insight on what it takes to succeed in athletics, achievement of goals, and a mindset to continue to accumulate wins on a daily basis.
The Power of Belief - 2 Part Series | Part 1
It was the 2nd round of the 2006 Wisconsin High School Football Playoffs. We were warming up after half-time, and although we had been down in games before, it was not a common theme this season. This time we were down (if memory serves me correct) 17 points against a very strong opponent. We had not lost a game all year, and when a buddy and I overheard another teammate say "Damn, practice is going to suck on Monday!" - we couldn't help but think - dude, if we don't score some points fast there won't be a practice on Monday! The extremely confident first teammate blurted back, "oh shut up, we are going to win this damn game." We all looked each other dead in the eyes, and quite honestly we truly felt the exact same way. We were not going to lose that game...
The reason I tell that story is not to brag about past successes (while some people that know me might argue otherwise) or to suggest that a false sense of confidence is any real strategy for success. It is because in sports, as in business or life in general, the element of belief is so critical that it cannot be overlooked. It is where everything starts.
You can do all the right things on paper, but if you don't inherently believe to your core that what you want to happen will come to fruition, it's unlikely at best. Have you ever wondered why someone that is genuinely confident always seems to do well? Is it because they are successful that they are confident, or because they are confident that they are successful?
I believe that a genuine confidence and belief in your mission, preparation, and ability - whether individual or team related - is truly that special sauce that allows for goals to be achieved and dreams to happen.
There are countless examples of this, but one of my favorites took place on May 6th, 1954. Until that very day, running a mile in under 4 minutes was thought to be a physical impossibility. Even as the race was set to start, it would have been easy for the racers to doubt the possibility of running a decent time given nasty weather conditions with a cold rain and crosswind blowing across the track. Still, a 25-year-old medical student from Oxford, England, named Roger Bannister had worked hard to get to this point and to make a long story short he ended up crossing the tape in 3 minutes and 59.4 seconds.
The story of this race is not the point I’m trying to make today, although to be the first at something requires an incredible amount of belief within oneself – it is what happened next that demonstrates the power of belief so evidently… In the following year after Bannister ran the first sub 4-minute mile ever, over 20 runners broke the 4-minute mark. This means that for almost 10 years, the record sat at 4:01, and then within a year of someone proving that it was physically possible, it became achievable to plenty of athletes striving towards the goal. In fact, in the last 50 years, the record has been lowered by almost 15 seconds.
The point I am trying to make is that as the end of your quarter looms in or the beginning of a new season is upon you – remember anything is possible and if you truly believe it, you can achieve it.
And by the way, if you were wondering - we did not lose the game from the beginning of this post, or the state championship that went into overtime 3 weeks later. The power of certainty and belief is magical.
- Geoff Stuhr
Hopefully this gets readers thinking and the message can be passed on to students, athletes, family, and friends. I wish everyone the most success with their endeavors and as always, a wonderful week/end...cheers all and thanks Geoff!